Participants in the 27th The Herald VW Cycle Tour, which takes place on February 4 and 5, should make servicing their bicycles a New Year’s resolution, said tour co-founder Rob Rudman.
The former national cross-country and downhill representative, whose Cyclo Pro shop will be partnering with GT as the official bike and technical support sponsor, said riders should have their bikes serviced about now to prevent any nasty surprises on race day.
“Nothing’s going to go wrong after that that you can’t repair, but at least you have two or three weeks to sort out any lingering problems that may not have been apparent during the service.”
The mountain bike events on the Saturday are hosted by the Addo Polo Club while Sunday’s road races (excluding the family and children’s events) depart from Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth.
With 35 years’ experience in the industry, Rudman and his team of bike mechanics will be providing back-up for both disciplines. “It’s a free service, but riders will have to pay for parts if required.”
His team will “sweep” the course in the road events – from the 21km Powerade Leisure Ride to the 105km Classic – and 30km Powerade Leisure Challenge off-road race.
Under Cycling South Africa regulations, mechanical assistance to mountain bikers in the longer 80km Extreme and 60km Adventure is forbidden.
“It’s the fun rider that we aim to help. Riders in the longer disciplines may only receive assistance from fellow competitors,” said Rudman.
Having ridden the road race 15 times and also the mountain bike event, he understands the various pitfalls.
“Chains come off or break and riders often get multiple punctures and are then stranded. We help to get them back on the road.”
Riders can also seek assistance from Cyclo Pro/GT’s innovative events trailer on race day. This mobile workshop, which comes with a rooftop commentary booth, will be a fixture at both venues.
GT regional manager Stephen Craddock said this would be the trailer’s first outing at a national classic. “Our aim is to provide a public support unit that offers free, neutral service to all participants.”
Rudman added that the on-site shops would offer everything from spare tyres and tubes to shoes, gloves, helmets and energy products. The main shop will be at the expo in The Boardwalk Race Village at Hobie Beach, with a satellite outlet at Addo.
Cyclo Pro/GT has also sponsored a road and mountain bike worth a total of R40 000. These will be given away at the lucky draw that follows the feature race on the Sunday.
The grand prize will be another set of wheels in the form of a four-door Polo Vivo 1.4 from title sponsor Volkswagen Group SA.
Visit www.heraldcycletour.co.za or follow the race on Twitter (In_the_Bunch) or www.facebook.com/TheHeraldCycleTour.
Book your Addo accommodation at the scenic Zuurberg Inn.